The doorbell rings; you press your
face against the window, trying to
peer through the tinted glass, but
all you see is your reflection,
printed picture perfect straight
out of a magazine.
There’s no one home, you realize,
until the door creaks open silently and
a small hand waves a friendly hello,
trying to stop its trembling by grasping
onto the front of your shirt and
pulling you inside.
It guides you, steering you away from
what you assume is furniture; coffee tables,
couches, clutter scattered on the floor, cabinets
and lamps that appear to be broken, for why else
would there be no light? You dwell as the
hand seats you at a kitchen table,
firm and polite.
Cautiously, you whisper hello and the
echo whispers it back. There’s a sharp split
in the wall resembling a smile, jagged and pulled
tight at the edges. You laugh, you drink, you spill
secrets to the air that listens and replies
It isn’t until the air grows cold, reaches for your
beating heart and clenches it tightly, trying to slip
inside. The gap in the wall widens, opens up,
weighing down heavy on your soul, light
creeping towards the surface,
desperate and dim; you know it’s
time to go.
The hand returns, more forcefully now,
pounding your flesh as you stumble and
trip over what remains. You reach the door
and it swallows you whole, tumbling and falling
until you’re back at start, wondering why you even
stopped in the first place.
A face presses against the window, counting
your footsteps fading into the night until finally,
you are gone. Broken lamps come to life; light fills
the room and illuminates the nothingness surrounding
every empty corner and dusty wall. No coffee tables, couches,
clutter scattered on the floor, or cabinets; just shadows stretching
out across pale ceiling tiles, dropping down onto a lonely floor.
There is nothing here, behind the window or behind the door.
There are no curtains framing the darkened windows, no locks
or latches to keep them from coming in. There is nothing, except
shadows hiding from the smiling wall, spilling fourth lies to
anyone who stops to listen.
There is nothing here, except shadows hiding.